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Church Services and Events

Sunday Divine Service is held every Sunday at 6.30pm.

 

Awareness Class every Monday at 7.30pm.

 

Spiritual Healing takes place every Thursday at 7.00pm

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"Spirit in Action"

Belfast Spiritualist Church

"Spirit in Action"

The History of Spiritualism in Northern Ireland ...

 

Modern Spiritualism in Northern Ireland has it roots from 1912 which were times of religious and political unrest, both at home and abroad. In those times it was the area of the Custom House steps which was renowned as the Speakers Corner of Belfast. People gathered there to discuss the important topics of the day. It was at the Custom House steps that the initial pioneers of the Belfast Spiritualist movement, Mr Morrison, Mr Moore, Mr McCormick and Mr Skelton met to discuss the

many aspects surrounding psychic matters. The group progressed by renting a room in Victoria Street to study, practice and investigate psychic phenomena. This signalled the birth of the Spiritualist movement in Belfast and Ireland. The movement continued to grow by merging with other groups to become the Belfast Spiritualist Alliance. This Alliance held regular Sunday meetings and mid-week activities at a top floor room at 39 High Street. 

As interest in Spiritualism continued to grow, the Alliance then moved to Chichester Street, followed by the Central Hall in Rosemary Street. Between the first and second world wars, many famous Mediums were brought to Belfast by the Alliance with the help of such people as Gladys Gamble, whose husband David helped organise development circles. It was during this period that the committee held many of their meetings and services in Thompsons Restaurant which was owned by Mr Thompson and who was also the founder member of the Belfast Electronic Spirit Communication Society. 

  

At Rosemary Street the group flourished, but unfortunately the property was destroyed in the Easter Monday WW2 air raid of 1941.

The Alliance then accepted an invitation from another group to join them 45 May Street. This other group was functioning well under the leadership of the truly excellent Medium, Sarah Graham.

The Alliance moved again when under the leadership of Joseph Curphy they returned to High Street, this time to St Georges Hall. Jack Atkinson and Violet Winters added to the strong team of platform workers supported by regular visiting mediums. However the Alliance was never happy with this hall due to excessive noise during services from the drama group renting the room above, and the mess around the entrance caused by the pools office below. 

It was during this period that the Lyceum reached its peak attendance, with approximately fifty children attending each Sunday Service. 

During the Queens visit in June 1953 the movement was able to raise funds by renting to members, the windows of the Church which overlooked High Street. There was also a collection was also proposed to aid the building fund. 

The activities continued steadily under the leadership of the new President Mr Harry Ryding until more pleasant and larger accommodation was found at 6 Dublin Road. Unfortunately it was still 3 floors up and a chair had to be provided for the more infirm members to rest. They named this hall Curphy Hall in honour of the former President who passed to the spirit realms in 1956.

 

On the 12th June 1963 Harry Ryding received his MSNU Diploma, this was a great honour for Belfast as he was the first person to be ordained as a Spiritualist Minister in Ireland.

 

The Spiritualist movement in Belfast grew stronger by the year due to a strong and active membership and accomplished workers such as Bob and Cicely Moore. Then an enthusiastic lady member, Mrs Margaret McRoberts brought along a small and insignificant advert offering a building in Malone Avenue for sale. This was the start of the most hectic and important phase in the life of the Church.

On Sunday 4th May 1969 the Belfast Church of Psychic Science opened its doors for the first Services of a new era. Two weeks later on the 14th May, Mr Charles Quastel, President of the SNU performed the dedication Service along with international mediums Albert Best and Jessie Nason. A few months later Spiritualism in Northern Ireland had its first fully established Church when recognition was granted by the Registrar Office and the Church was Solemnised as a place of worship in which marriages could take place. The building was bought with a large fund raised locally along with a seven thousand pound loan from the SNU building fund. 

With a great deal of voluntary labour the building was substantially refurbished, the final work party not finishing until around midnight on Saturday - the day before opening.

Since 1969 the Church has gone from strength to strength, numerous marriage ceremonies, as well as naming, burial and cremation services have taken place. 

At the AGM on 28th February 1976 the name of the Church was changed to its present form - Belfast Spiritualist Church.

In 1979 an extension was added to the Church. After continual problems finding accommodation for visiting mediums, a self-contained apartment was added to the side of the Church for their use.

Disaster struck in 1982 a fire broke out in the kitchen which nearly ended in the complete loss of the Church, but for the alertness of a neighbour who contacted the fire brigade.

In 1992 the Church organised a coach trip to Dublin for an evening with our brothers and sisters in the Spiritualist group there. An enjoyable evening was had by all but many were surprised to learn of their adverse working conditions. It is against the antiquated, religiously influenced laws in the South of Ireland for them to say prayers or sing hymns.

Currently there are several bodies who represent spiritualism in the Republic of Ireland and who's followers meet each Sunday for Divine Service.